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An Open Letter to New York State Senator Nozzolio and Representative Oaks regarding Judith A. Geurin

February 8, 2013

Senator Nozzolio and Representative Oaks,

I am writing to you on behalf of Judith A. Geurin. She is a missing person who has been missing from your representative district since 1991.

Geurin

Missing people are some of the most vulnerable of our citizens. When a person goes missing they lose their voice and all their rights as a human being. Everything is ripped from their lives as well as their family’s lives.  If they have a loving, caring, intelligent and financially well-off family, then they will have people who will speak for them and make sure law enforcement does the right thing. If they don’t, well, they are subject to the luck of the draw and are often are forgotten. Does that sound right to you?  It doesn’t to me.

Let me tell you Judith Geurin’s story.  Judith was a housewife and mother then, without warning, her life went terribly wrong. Her husband died in 1988. She had trouble dealing with the overwhelming grief. She turned to alcohol for solace. That is when she met Curtis Pucci, an abusive and manipulating man who took advantage of Judith’s fragile state. (He also “took care” of the life insurance she received from her husband’s death.) He convinced her to move to Sodus Point, New York, leaving behind her four children. It was a mess. It was a huge mess. Times got hard for Pucci and Guerin. They ran out of money. Judith was arrested for passing a bad check. But Judith’s daughter, Amy, never gave up on her mom. Actually, during their last conversation, Amy suggested that her mother come home and they all start over again. But Judith never got the chance. She simply disappeared.

In late January 1991, Amy realized something was amiss. As bad as things got, she always heard from her mom. She was unable to reach her and finally took a drive to Sodus Point. Her mother was gone and no one knew where she was. Amy went to the police. They refused to take a missing person’s report. They told Amy her mom probably just “took off” and she’d hear from her soon. Soon never came.

Amy tried to report her mother missing again. And again. And again. Incredibly, the police refused to take a report and investigate until 2006. Yes, you read that right; 2006. Fifteen years after Judith Geurin went missing the police begrudgingly opened an investigation. The injustice done in this case is just staggering.

I’d like to tell you this is a very isolated case but it’s not. Every day people go missing and every day they hear that their loved one is just somewhere blowing off steam or has lost track of time. It is time that New York became a leader in the search, investigation and recovery of the missing.

New York State needs:

1)  a standard protocol for every single missing person investigation. It shouldn’t matter where you disappear from or who you are, a thorough investigation should be standard.

2)  a state funded missing persons investigative unit that is highly trained and on call to begin investigations immediately when it is determined a person is missing

3) training for every single police agency in the state on how to handle missing person cases.

4) a centralized, searchable data base where every single missing person is entered into a system where that information can be cross referenced against unidentified human remains.

5) a law requiring every single missing person and unidentified human remains be reported to the FBI and entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs).

We can’t prevent the great travesty of justice that has happened to Judith Geurin and her family. However, we can prevent it from happening again. As her representative, it is your job to look into the injustice that Judith Geurin and her family have suffered for twenty-two years. But it is also time to look into how missing persons investigations are handled in New York State.

Thank you so much for your time. I am sure you will do the right thing.

Sincerely,

Marianna Boncek

 

Any response received from the Senator or Representative will be added here. 

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